– In this video I’m gonna
show you 10 different ways to make your vegetable
garden more productive next year and beyond. (calm acoustic guitar music) Now if you want to grow more food and save money at the same time, then you’re watching the right video. And if you look down below
in the video description, I’ve actually created time stamps for the 10 ways that you can make your vegetable garden more productive. So it’s a bit easier
for you to move around. And maybe at the end of the video, you might want to review
a couple of the methods. So just before we get into this video, I’d like to thank today’s sponsor, which is First Tunnels. Now they provide a whole
range of polytunnel sizes as well as mini polytunnels
and fruit cages. So if this interests you, and you’re looking to extend your season, then go and check out their website to see what they can offer you. So the first way to make a more productive vegetable garden next year is by actually building soil over winter. Now you may be able to see over there to my right,
which should be your left, we’ve got some raised beds here. And what we’re doing here is we’ve placed a layer of
well-watered cow manure, which is about four inches thick, so that equates about 10 centimetres. And the idea is that over winter we’re going to let the earthworms and whatever microbes
which are still alive to work at breaking down and decomposing the well-rotted cow manure. Now this is really
important because cow manure is a fantastic source of nitrogen, and if you’re especially
going to be growing a leafy green in that bed next year, then it’s really important to
put that source of nitrogen, because leafy greens thrive
off a good source of nitrogen. Now I did make a video showing
the whole tutorial of this, so you might want to check it out. It isn’t as well-produced, but I also have a video
showing the results of the healthy soil afterwards. Secondly is to crack down on slugs and other pests for that matter. Now the thing about slugs, especially if they hit you hard, they actually eat a lot of your crop, so you’re losing productivity. But luckily there are a couple of ways that you can crack down on slugs so you can reduce their collateral damage. Now the first thing that
you need to be doing is going around to your garden and remove any pots or any bits of wood that are literally laying
down on the ground, because these make perfect
habitats for slugs. And what you wanna do is to make it as de-slug friendly as possible, where they don’t have little crevices and gaps to hide behind, and more in the spring and
summer what you need to do is if you have any patches
of long grass, to cut this, just to reduce the
amount of hiding places. And secondly is to have
a slug hunting party. So kind of early-ish summer you need to invite some
of your friends over, bring head torches and some buckets, and literally you’ll
be able in the evening to go out and pick bucket-loads of slugs, and this is going to have a huge effect. Now a really powerful way of creating a more productive vegetable garden is by creating and drawing up a simple succession planting plan. Now what I love about succession planting is it really does utilise,
maximise the space that you have in your vegetable garden. So especially for small spaces, like we’re fortunate
enough to have the land to have a big vegetable garden, but if you just have a backyard, then focus on creating a
succession planting plan, because it’s all too easy, especially for beginner
vegetable gardeners, to sow all your lettuce
and radish seeds in one go. But by spacing it out
every week or two weeks, you’re then going to
have a continuous harvest which is going to last you more
through the growing season, rather than having everything at one go and then chances are you
will waste some food. So just create a plan where you think, “Okay I’m going to be
harvesting carrots, say, “in July, so after that “I might want to plant
some lettuces and radishes “to make use of that space.” Now this is another tip about space, but this is utilising the vertical space that you have around your garden. Now behind you, we don’t
really have anything there, but you can see over
here we’ve got a trellis. And what we’re doing is we’re gradually adding and incorporating trellises around the perimeter of
our vegetable garden. And one thing that I think
is underestimated quite a lot is actually the power of
perennial fruits and vegetables. So what we’re doing is almost
creating a wall or a barrier around our garden, which is both creating a microclimate within it,
which is keeping the heat, but also gives us another element where we can grow and produce more food, such as blackberries and silvanberries and pears and plums, and things like that. Now if you haven’t yet,
you might want to consider getting some sort of undercover growing, because undercover growing
is a worthy investment. We have a solar tunnel
here and we’re gonna be adding a mini greenhouse very soon, but the thing about
extending your growing season is that you can start
earlier on in the year, and you can finish later. Growing undercover makes it possible, especially in the UK, to grow winter salads. And it’s great having a
fresh supply of winter salads during the cold, dark days. And it gives you vitamins
like vitamin C and D, which are harder to get in the winter compared to summer and spring. So if you wanna see an example
of what’s been doing well, I recommend you check out
Patrick Dolan’s channel over at OneYardRevolution. As well as succession planting, you have interplanting. And I love interplanting
because it created a totally different aspect
and element to growing food. Now we did it earlier this year where we grew radishes in
the same bed as potatoes, with the idea of utilising the ways of fast growing vegetables compared to slower growing vegetables. So what we did with the radishes, we planted those at the same
time as the seed potatoes, but the radishes had matured just as the leaves of the potatoes were covering the raised bed. So here, instead of
having two different areas where you’re growing
radishes in one raised bed, and growing potatoes
in another raised bed, we’re actually growing the two together. So that’s freeing up vital
space to grow other things, and as a result, you’re making your vegetable garden more productive. And another common method for this is a growing method where you literally are growing sweet corn, and then you can plant at the bottom a squash, or some peas, and the peas can grow up
and around the sweet corn, and the squash can be at the bottom, or you can even grow lettuces. But again, you’re just
looking at how you can make the most of the space you have by adding two different
or three different crops in one area, rather than
having them in different areas. Something similar to interplanting is square foot gardening, and this is almost pushed the boundaries and the rules of traditional
vegetable gardening, where you have general spacings, but in square foot gardening you can throw those
spacings out the window, and you grow a lot more concentrated, and it’s a very intense
way of growing vegetables. And it does take a little bit more effort to sort it all out, but you will get a lot more harvest. So there is a book that I’ve read and I recommend you read, which is The Square Foot Gardening, and it’s really really interesting. So if you wanna look at that, and I’ll be doing some
videos, hopefully next year about that as well, so make
sure you’re subscribed. When I say this method, you might think, “Why didn’t I think of that?” But the thing is, if you grow more of what grows well in your area compared to what maybe
doesn’t quite grow so well and you get so-so results, by growing more of what grows well and you kind of succession plant it out, then in that sense you’ll actually create higher productivity. Now things that grow well
with us are Swiss chard, beetroot, a lot of cabbages, and also peas. Now if you do have a lot
more of a certain vegetable, such as, say, Swiss chard or beetroot, then the thing is you might want to look at how you can preserve it. So we’ve been looking at lactofermentation and how we can ferment
and store and preserve our vegetables. So by growing more of what
grows well in your area, the idea is you’ll have a bigger yield. So you may not have such a diversity of what you’re growing, but the thing is you’re gonna have more, and especially if your sole
purpose of growing food is to save money, then you might want to
greatly consider this. Use free fertilisers. Fertilisers are very very very important, but not ones that you buy from shops. All you need to do is make the most of your natural surroundings, or even grow your own
fertiliser, such as comfrey. Now I did a video about the
growing power of comfrey for permaculture vegetable gardens, which you can take a look at, and I do actually recommend
you take a look at. Because I teach you how to make a comfrey and nettle compost tea, which you can use on your garden to provide very very useful nutrients. But also you can use comfrey, add it to place on your compost, and apply a sprinkle of
compost around your plants just to replenish the
soil with some nutrients, especially during the
early stages of growing. But also even just use it as a mulch, especially when tomatoes
are beginning to ripen. You can add these nutrients
and use the comfrey as mulch. So use free fertilisers. You can use manure, comfrey, leaves use these as leaf mulch, grass clippings, these
are kind of mulches now, but you can use that to both build soil and retain moisture and
other things like that. And finally, moving on with the mulch idea is how to reduce and crack down on weeds. Now we’ve already talked
about cracking down on slugs, and you can crack down on
other pests such as mice by growing peas in rain gutters, but by cracking down on weeds, now weeds are something, especially organic vegetable
gardeners all have to face, and it’s all part of
the truthful experience of growing your own food. But when weeds get the upper hand, then it can be quite demoralising. So by using and applying
thick layers of mulch, and I’m a great advocate of using mulch, then by using mulch and using the layers around your vegetables, then this is going to stop and hinder the growth of weeds. And you might need to
do a couple of layers, or a couple of spreadings,
every growing season, but this is just gonna help
reduce the need to weed. And if you do see any weeds where it might not be possible to mulch, then you need to strike them early before they get out of hand. And at the end of the day, if you think about it, weeds not only take nutrients
away from your soil, but what they also do is take away valuable growing space. So thank you very much
for watching this video, and I hope this has
given you some more ideas on how you can create a more
productive vegetable garden. Now if you have any questions about any of the methods that I outlined, then don’t hesitate to ask me down below in the comments section, or you can contact me
directly on Snapchat, and there’ll be a link available for that. Now I do invite you to share this video with your friends who also grow food, just so they can maybe
get some new ideas as well so they can create a more
productive vegetable garden. So I hope you enjoyed it. Don’t forget to rate whether you did like or
didn’t like this video, and I’ll see you again very soon. Goodbye.